Town hall meeting to discuss dredging the Mississippi River - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Town hall meeting to discuss dredging the Mississippi River

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VICKSBURG, MS. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Last year the Mississippi River created problems because the water level was too low. Now the Mississippi Rivers water levels are high, but so is the dirt and sand build up. Our Nolan Crane shows us why commissioners in charge are holding public meetings in Vicksburg to address some potential problems and concerns.

The Mississippi River plays a huge role and economic impact of our country. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers met with government leaders to talk about some potential problems the river may be facing.

"I think we have to spend over 120 million dollars each year to keep the mouth of the Mississippi open so larger ships can come in and then get back out," said Sam Angel.

The Mississippi River may flow but the money it takes to keep boats in the water and the economy moving is stagnant. Mississippi River commissioners met with city leaders and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to come up with a plan to keep the economy rolling on the river.

"60 percent of our nations grain comes down the Mississippi River for exporting," said Angel.

Vicksburg's mayor says he wants congress to help fund the engineers dredging efforts.

"We just ask that they continue to fund them so we can continue to improve and enhance the Mississippi river," said Mayor George Flaggs.

"Dredging is kind of like a clogged artery, when there is a lot of sand and build up along the inside which makes it impassable for boats and barges to get through. They say it takes an act of congress to try to get the money they need to try to fix all of the potential issues.

Right now the Mississippi River is running at one of its highest levels ever for the month of august. Last year low water levels halted barge traffic on the Mississippi. Now engineers say a lack of funds to remove sand build up could do the same.

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